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Hiwote, Azusa and Alena Hiwote, Azusa and Alena

Music has no borders: Hiwote, Alena and Azusa come to play in Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra

Written by  Ivana Smilović Sep 27, 2016

Music is powerful, it connects people and can take you anywhere! That's what literally happened to three talented girls – it took them to Dubrovnik. Hiwote Tadesse, Alena Shapochka and Azusa Yamauchi followed their passion and joined the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra. Hiwote is from Croatia but has Ethiopian heritage, Alena is from Belarus and Azusa is from Japan. They are 23, 25 and 27 years old and play viola and violin. They shared their new experience with The Dubrovnik Times and seemed really excited about this huge change in their lives. 

Each of them has a story about how they ended up in Dubrovnik and they all have different backgrounds. Hiwote lived in Zagreb, then Belgium and studied in Netherlands.
- I was looking for an job opportunity and actually I found out about this audition because Dubrovnik Symphony Orcherstra published it online. I decided to try it and was happy when it happened – says Hiwote and adds that she was somewhat surprised that she got into the Orchestra, but also that there was a certain hope, because otherwise she wouldn't even come. 

- Friend of my father recommended to me to take this audition – continues Alena, who wasn't so surprised when she got accepted, but it was a big pleasure for her.
Just like Hiwote, Azusa was looking for a job too and found the audition on the Internet. - I was very surprised that I got in the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra – she says with a smile.

Of course, when you move from one country to another there are many differences in lifestyle. - Compared to Belgium and Netherlands people seem much more happy, I think that's because of the sun. The atmosphere is more relaxed – says Hiwote about Croatian lifestyle while Alena thinks that Moscow and Dubrovnik couldn't be more different.

- Everything is different! Tempo of life, working, eating, just everything – explains Alena and adds that Dubrovnik looks a bit like Moscow when it's full of tourists.
Just as expected, Azusa says that a lot of people are really hard working in Tokyo, while here they're more relaxed. She even adds, with a bit of surprise, that she doesn't have to come and go at the exact time around here.

When asked if they've got used to the Dubrovnik custom of drinking coffee for hours all three girls laugh, so we'll guess not yet. But from our experience we can say that it will happen quite soon, especially with all the friendly people. The girls didn't have any problems with people accepting them.
- Personaly I feel like the Orchestra has accepted us like we were here forever. They are so friendly. When we came everybody said hello and introduced themselves – says Hiwote who sort of feels like a local, especially because she knows Croatian.

All of their families are glad that they've decided to come to Dubrovnik – Hiwote's because of her Croatian origin, Azusa's want to visit her as soon as possible and Alena's are really used to being all over the world: her dad is in Brazil, mother in Belarus and sister in Moscow.

When it comes to the future plans, they don't want to rush. They all think that it's too early to say if they want to stay in Dubrovnik for a longer period or not. For now they're just enjoying the experience.


                 New forces of Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra 

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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